“At that time the LORD announced through Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments and barefoot. 3 Later the LORD explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated.”
I don’t know about you, but walking around barefoot in underwear has not typically been what comes to mind when I think about what it means to be a prophet of the LORD.
But God goes through great lengths
to reach His people
and He often calls His followers to do the same.
Sometimes God calls us to do strange things or allows us to go through difficult times so we will have a passion and an understanding to live fully for Him and to communicate His heart and message to His people.
Noah had to build a boat amidst mockers in a dry land. Joshua had to march around a city and blow a trumpet. Abraham was told to sacrifice his one heir, his precious son. Moses was told to go back and demand from the king of the greatest land that their slaves be let go. Jeremiah bought a linen belt God told him to buy, hid it in a crevice then dug it up when it was ruined. A prophet named Agabus came down from Judea and took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands to prophesy about what Paul would suffer.
Sometimes we need object lessons to be warned or to wake us up to walk uprightly before God. While it might seem futile for Jeremiah to bury a belt, the ruined article of clothing demonstrated how the people of God would be ruined if they did not repent and seek God.
While building a boat with no water or rain in sight was possibly embarrassing, it meant the salvation of Noah’s family and ultimately the continuation of the existence of mankind and all of the creatures God created.
Sometimes man can also come up with crazy radical ideologies that have nothing to do with God, but they claim it does, anyway. The fruit of our behavior identifies where the calling originated from. Does it bring life or death?
The words of the famous missionary, Jim Elliot, which were echoed by Twila Paris many years later, have been precious to me since I first came to know the LORD in 1988. “He is no fool if he should choose to give the thing he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose. To see a treasure in one soul that far outshines the brightest gold; he is no fool.”
If God calls us to do something that is not popular or seems foolish to man, perhaps that makes it all the more reason to do it. To live for Jesus, really live – is to seek to do His will in everything we do. Sometimes it just won’t make sense. But that’s ok. He who chose to come and be born as a baby; King, Creator over all, humbling Himself to be at our level, conquered every heart with the most radical action of all.
Lord, help us to trust You when things don’t make sense. Every trial we go through has a purpose – we can comfort others when we come out on the other side and bring You glory. May we be sensitive to Your calling and never doubt Your goodness. Love You, Lord!